How remodeling old homes turned into career
Osman Gomez has been in the building profession for the past seven years. He started in the business by helping build the Wayside Market in southern Morgan County and has continued working on building projects in the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore areas ever since.
But he didn’t realize his true potential until he met Jim and Susan Catlette.
As Gomez tells the story, about six years ago the Catlettes were on their way from Washington, D.C. to Charleston to visit his dad when they stopped in Berkeley Springs to shop at the antique malls.
It started snowing heavily and at the suggestion of Steve Harmison, who the Catlettes met while antiquing, they stayed overnight at Betty Lou Harmison’s Bath Keepers Cottage.
The next morning they saw two houses for sale next to the Episcopal Church and were intrigued by the possibilities.
It wasn’t long before they were back in town negotiating to buy the two properties. The Catlettes also purchased the Eleanor Campbell house just up the hill a year later.
All the properties needed extensive renovations.
Gomez started working for them three years ago and has renovated two of the three properties while helping establish a bed & breakfast business.
The Catlettes, Gomez and a friend, Roger Robles, formed a partnership called Berkeley Properties Online, LLC.
Together they manage Brookside Manor and the attached Brookside Cottage on Warren Street next to the Episcopal Church and the Mountain Side Rest Inn on Cornelius Street.
Gomez lives with his wife Rocia, daughter Dollie and sons Miguel and Aristide across the street from Brookside Manor on Warren Street, another home owned by the company that he plans to renovate.
Robles is innkeeper for Brookside Manor and cottage and the Mountain Rest Inn. Rocia Gomez works to keep the properties clean.
The partnership’s goal for the future is to renovate and manage a total of 10 properties in the Berkeley Springs area, he said.
Brookside Manor has three rooms upstairs in the main house named the Rumsey Suite, the Washington Suite and the Brook View Suite. All rooms are comfortably furnished and have wireless internet and Jacuzzi style jetted bathtubs.
Robles serves a continental breakfast for his guests in the downstairs dining room each morning.
The attached Brookside Cottage has a separate entrance and is equipped with a full kitchen as well as radio and television for guests who prefer more privacy.
Both the cottage and the downstairs of the main inn open up onto a long brick patio that fronts Warm Springs Run in back of the inn.
The Mountain Rest Inn, the former Eleanor Campbell house, is rented out for functions such as weddings and reunions, Gomez said.
Besides working with the inns, Gomez does other renovation jobs. He is currently restoring a chapel in Washington.
“When someone comes to me to talk about remodeling a home or building, I can tell them I am going to do things right. I rely on my quality,” Gomez said.
“I am a troubleshooter. You tell me what the problem is and I will fix it,” he said.
The Gomez family is originally from Chiopas, Mexico, in the southern or Mayan region of the country.
“We fell in love with Berkeley Springs. That is why we don’t live in the city,” Gomez said.